Occitan

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Anthony
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Occitan

Postby Anthony » 2004-12-14, 1:11

Hello,

I have a question about the Occitan language spoken in southern France. I know it's spoken all in the southern half of the country, but is it the native tongue of the majority of Southerners or is it largely a literary tongue with few native speakers sprinkled all over the place? I'm just wondering how much use it would have for someone who would like to travel in the south of France. I know that most, if not all Occitan speakers can speak French too, but just as a matter of respect, I was wondering if it's so widespread that I could encounter substantial numbers of native speakers.

Thank you for all your help!
Anthony Rinna

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Rob P
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Postby Rob P » 2004-12-14, 1:38

Well, I'm not sure of the numbers...and it also depends on where you would like to travel :) This summer I was in Provence and the Côte d'azur (Moustiers Ste-Marie, Gap, Nice, Cannes, Marseille, Bauduen, etc etc.) for a month and I heard no Occitan being spoken. In fact, I only met one Provençal speaker, and she was fairly old and hadn't spoken Provençal for a very long time. I would believe that most people are native French speakers, but I welcome people to correct me! (By the way, there is a link to an Occitan News TV program on the internet in the Wiki. :D There must be enough people who speak Occitan to make it worthwhile for France3 to have a daily news program in the language :D )

Robert

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Rob P
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Real Name: Robert P
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Country: US United States (United States)

Postby Rob P » 2004-12-14, 1:44

Some numbers I found on the ethnologue:

GASCON [GSC] 250,000 speakers in France (1990 P. Blanchet), The population in the Béarn region of southern Gasconha, France is 400,000 (1982); 51% speak Gascon, 70% understand it, 85% are in favor of saving it. Population total both countries 254,800. Alternate names: OCCITAN. Dialects: LANDAIS, BÉARNAIS (BIARNESE), ARIÉGEOIS, ARANESE. Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, Oc.

LANGUEDOCIEN [LNC] Fluent speakers are 10% of the population in the region. About 20% more have some knowledge of it. Languedoc Province, from Montpellier to Toulouse, Bordeaux, Rodez, and Albi. Alternate names: LENGADOUCIAN, LANGUEDOC, LANGADOC, OCCITAN, OCCITANI. Dialects: BAS-LANGUEDOCIEN, LANGUEDOCIEN MOYEN, HAUT-LANGUEDOCIEN, GUYENNAIS. Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, Oc.

LIMOUSIN [LMS] Spoken by 10% to 20% of the population of the region. Limousin Province. Haut-Limousin around Limoges, Guéret, and Nontron in Charente; Bas-Limousin around Correze and Périgord. Alternate names: LEMOSIN, OCCITAN. Dialects: HAUT-LIMOUSIN, BAS-LIMOUSIN. Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, Oc.

Robert

raoul

occitan

Postby raoul » 2004-12-14, 19:13

I live in France and I have travelled to the occitan area many times. I am sorry to say that occitan is on the verge of extinction. The only areas where I could hear it are the Pyrenees mountains and the Aveyron district and only in villages by people aged over 50 years. Most speakers
were over 70. I was once in a bar in Aveyron; a man entered and started
talking in occitan to the bar-tender. He was rebuffed by a : 'arabic is not
spoken here ! '. I guess the bar-tender was afraid that occitan would scare
tourists away. Cupidity and contempt has killed the language.
The situation is even worse for breton. I never heard the language on the street in Brittany.
It is a pity that my country has become so homogeneous linguistically. What a bore!


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